The Role of Science Academies in Providing Evidence-informed advice

The Role of Science Academies in Providing Evidence-informed advice

9-10  November 2016. Johannesburg, South Africa. This workshop took place directly after the ’ (NASAC) general assembly.
Network of African Science Academies

This CAAST-Net Plus event offered a platform through which mechanisms of dialogue between policy-makers and science academies could be instituted to support the Africa-EU High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation, as well as the implementation of the research and innovation Roadmap on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture.

The workshop interrogated the participants with following questions:
  • How and through which potential mechanisms can science academies and their respective continental networks play a role in providing evidence informed policy advice for the bi-regional Africa-EU Partnership, particularly the HLPD Bureau in the short, medium and long term?
  • What kind of environment is required to promote dialogue between science academies and policy makers to enrich the bi-regional partnership between Africa and Europe?
  • What role have continental networks of science academies in Europe and Africa played in providing evidence-informed advice to multilateral governance institutions such as the European Commission and African Union Commission? 
  • What lessons can be learned from the respective experiences and practices which would be useful within the context of the Africa-EU Research and Innovation Partnership?
  • How can science academies and their networks play a role in the establishment of an Africa-EU Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) as part of implementing the Roadmap on Food Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)?
  • How can European and African networks of science academies establish a community of practice that will contribute to the development of bi-regional policy priorities and positions with the aim of enriching the bi-regional Research and Innovation  Partnership and strengthening bi-regional policy positions on common issues of global significance?

Go to full draft concept note
Go to preliminary agenda


Communication and Dissemination in an Africa-EU Research and Innovation Cooperation Network PDF | 2.95Mb
This report, reflects critically on the CAAST-Net Plus experience, and is aimed primarily at the funders of EU-Africa research and innovation networks, who invariably have to make decisions about what communication and dissemination activities are worth supporting. But it is also aimed at programme managers, network coordinators, and communicators, who might be interested in learning from or benchmarking their approaches and practices against the CAAST-Net Plus experience.

The report is the result of a collaboration between *Research Africa (based in South Africa) and the Centre for Social Innovation (based in Austria), who lead the communication and dissemination work of CAAST-Net Plus.

Extract of the programme:
How can science academies and their networks play a role in the establishment of an Africa-EU Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) as part of implementing the Roadmap on Food Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)?
In the field of STI on FNSSA, a big variety of institutions in Africa and Europe are active and have existing platforms for knowledge management and digital as well as non-digital communication and action. The existing platforms are challenged in ensuring that all the available knowledge is used to inform policy, improve food systems and processes, expand product range, markets and trade, and support innovation for social and economic gain and environmental protection in both Africa and Europe. The format of databases and their accessibility play a crucial role and since research output would always have to be communicated continuously in the future, the digital linking of the existing databases and opportunities for collaboration in digital platforms is one challenge for a joint Africa-EU KMCS – but not the only one.

The CAAST-Net Plus stakeholder forum aims to support the implementation of the Africa-EU HLPD roadmap on FNSSA by developing a blue print for a sustainable Joint Africa-EU KMCS addressing the challenges of food and nutrition security in Africa and Europe by building on existing platforms and strengthening institutional alliances for joint actions grounded in the reality on the ground for achieving greater impact.


LAUNCH Food challenge – call for innovations
In partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a broad cross-sector network of key opinion leaders and industry players, LAUNCH is taking a people-centred approach to action across the whole of the food system.

  • This call for innovations was developed through consultation with industry, government and civil society from the Pacific Islands, Australia, the United States, Europe and elsewhere. It aims to collect ideas that will make healthy eating more accessible, especially in low-income communities and developing countries.
  • If you are working on an innovation that will contribute to improving health outcomes through the food system or if you’re working on a related solution in another field that could apply to this challenge, please answer the call.
  • LAUNCH Food is seeking solutions with the potential to transform food systems and the behaviours they drive to promote health and prosperity for all people while respecting the planet’s resources. The call for applications closes on December 7, 2016. For more information on the application process, please click here.
  • Selected innovators will have the opportunity to present their innovation to members of the LAUNCH network at the LAUNCH Food Forum, to be held in March 2017. The Forum is a facilitated multi-day event connecting innovators with investment partners, market leaders, and technical experts as well as philanthropic, NGO, and public sector actors committed to accelerating the adoption and scale of solutions.

17 November 2016. The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and IAP for Science, currently undertaking a project on ‘Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture‘, would like to encourage academy engagement in this call for the support of innovations in the food sector.

The project  on “Strengthening the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) – Global and regional statements on food and nutrition security and agriculture” (1 November 2015 to 30 June 2018 – 3.5 years) is almost exclusively funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). IAP is also providing financial support, while some IAP member academies and the affiliated regional networks provide in-kind support.

Enhancing the Capacity of African Science Academies

  • African academies of science can play a central role in providing independent, objective scientific and technological advice on policy issues of critical importance to Africa’s development, targeting both their governments and other stakeholders. 
  • Generously supported by the Gates Foundation, the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) has worked to raise the profile of a select but very diverse group of African academies as strong, independent institutions, building upon the scientific merit of their members to form beacons for science and technology as a tool for development.
  • This review of ASADI has revealed both the strengths and the weaknesses of the programme, identifying opportunities and threats for the future of science academies in Africa.

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